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What Does the Future Hold for Spire Motorsports?

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Spire Motorsports is quickly becoming one of NASCAR’s most interesting race teams. They have re-signed Corey LaJoie to a multi-year extension. Gainbridge has joined as a sponsor. They also have bought a third charter for $40 million to take Zane Smith on loan from Trackhouse. With all of this in mind, what does the future hold for Spire Motorsports?

Looking at the Drivers Seat

Spire Motorsports has already set who their number one driver will be for the next few years. Corey LaJoie signed a multi-year extension over the summer with the race team, so, the stability will come from him. He has had his best season since entering the Cup Series this year, and it will be interesting to see how he continues to improve alongside the race team.

Zane Smith will drive the third car with the third charter in 2024, but he is merely a one-year driver as he will likely be going to Trackhouse once they get their third team together in 2025. So, with that in mind, that means that Spire will likely be looking for a third driver in 2025.

What about the 77 car in 2024? Spire has yet to officially announce who will drive that car next year, and it may be a while before they do. Ty Dillon was not announced to drive that car for 2023 until mid-October of 2022, and we are still about a month away from that as of this writing.

As for who could drive that 77 car, Carson Hocevar is the hot pick considering his recent impressive Cup Series runs with Legacy Motor Club. If Hocevar is signed, that would likely be a multi-year deal since Spire would probably like to have him continue to develop as time goes on. If Hocevar is signed, that likely means two drivers will be under multi-year contracts with a third car to be replaced in 2025.

Who could take that spot in 2025? Well, that is still to be determined, but, how ridiculous is it for Spire to start grooming someone inside their own building in the lower series?

Looking at the Lower Series

Spire Motorsports is not a Cup-only operation by any stretch. They have been fielding cars in select races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with backing in some races from HendrickCars.com. They have backing from one of the best team owners in the sport in that series, and they have even won two races in the series.

Add to that, they have partnered with Ronnie Bassett Jr. to run select races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Carson Hocevar this year. Hocevar has two top-10 finishes in five starts in the series this year. If Spire wanted to create a race team around a driver they wanted to groom into that third car for 2025, they could do that in theory at least.

Spire truly has many of the things that the big-name race teams currently do. They have a presence in the lower series, a multi-car operation, and a big-name sponsor in Gainbridge. So, what is their plan?

What is Their Plan?

The future plans for Spire Motorsports are still unclear as of right now. They definitely plan on being in the sport for many years to come as is evidenced by these recent acquisitions. They also have their driver to build around, and they have an alliance with Trackhouse Racing with Zane Smith coming in to race for Spire.

Could that alliance with Trackhouse Racing expand as time goes on? Spire is already a multi-car team, and they have developed their race team so far from the ground up on their own for the most part. It is not impossible, however, that they deepen their ties with Trackhouse if it proves to be mutually beneficial for both parties.

The thing that Spire likely does not want is to become the de-facto Trackhouse B-Team. At some point, if Spire wants to be a truly competitive race team for years to come, they will have to break away. Therefore, seeing the two teams partner up beyond next year may not happen.

Based on the money being spent by Spire and the big sponsorship from Gainbridge, it seems they have something bigger in the works. Could it mean something with another team that Gainbridge sponsors in another series that just happens to be one of the biggest names in motorsports?

Will Andretti/Spire Ever Happen?

When the Gainbridge deal happened, many were quick to connect the dots between Andretti and Spire. Marco Andretti even drove in the Craftsman Truck Series at Mid-Ohio, further fueling rumors about the race team.

However, any news regarding Andretti and Spire has come to a screeching halt. Andretti seems preoccupied with trying to enter Formula One, and a resolution to that problem is probably not coming anytime soon.

Because of that, Andretti and Spire teaming up is either not happening at all, or not happening anytime soon. To be honest, Spire does not necessarily need Andretti to be successful. Andretti has never run a full-time NASCAR team before, so Spire would have to show Andretti some things about running a full-time NASCAR team.

Just because you run a Championship-winning open wheel operation does not mean you will do the same in NASCAR. Just ask Chip Ganassi about trying to run both operations.

Spire Motorsports is a unique race team, and it is exciting to think about where they can be in five years. What else awaits Spire Motorsports in the future?

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